COLTON — Once again, the town of Colton is embracing winter and holding its annual festival during the last weekend of January. The theme, “Our Future Looks Bright,” focuses on 100 years of progress from 1920 to 2020 and equal rights for all.
The festival kicks off Jan. 23 with the popular All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Colton-Pierrepont Central School cafeteria with diners being served by the Class of 2020 and with background music provided by Andy Van Duyne. At 5 p.m. there will be a break in serving for the presentation of the town’s Citizen of the Year award. This year Lorraine Gowing will receive the Virginia Smith Outstanding Citizen Award given to residents who are active volunteers and who exemplify the adage “neighbors caring for neighbors.” She is well-known in the community for various contributions to the Colton Hepburn Library, Zion Episcopal Church, and in addition to the school where she teaches.
The Winterfest schedule is packed with a variety of indoor and outdoor events throughout the weekend. On Friday night there are two events — girls basketball games at the school and Trivia Night at Higley Flow State Park.
Saturday kicks off with an All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Breakfast provided by the High Falls Masonic Lodge. During the day a variety of indoor family-oriented activities include the NYS Snowmobile Course, Free Clothing Giveaway, and Chilifest at the school plus a White Elephant Sale at Colton Methodist Church, Quilt Show at three venues, and Story Hour at the Library. Outdoor events, weather permitting, include the 10 Mile Foot Race which starts at the school and goes on roads around Colton as well as the Rod Thomas Memorial Higley Hustle Ski Races at Higley Flow State Park and recreational snowshoeing and cross-country skiing at Catamount hosted by the Adirondack Mountain Club and Catamount Lodge & Forest LLC. Adults also can enjoy Wine & Spirits Tastings at Higley Hooch in South Colton and a Tap Takeover and Live Music at Raquette River Pub in Colton. Saturday events end with a basketball game featuring Colton-Pierrepont Central School Staff versus NYS Troopers at 7 p.m. for which attendees can get $1 off the $5 ticket price by bringing a can or box of non-perishable food to benefit the Neighborhood Center’s food pantry.
On Sunday, the schedule kicks off with the eighth annual International Breakfast at school before Family Day at Higley Flow State Park, the Frying Pan Toss at AmVets, and a Foul Shooting Contest for Grades K-12 at school. Both the Free Clothing Giveaway and the Quilt Show continue on Sunday.
Winterfest concludes on Sunday with two special events for families, both of which are free to attend. At 1 p.m. at the school, the Colton-Pierrepont Central School Teachers’ Association and the Winterfest Planning Committee will host Lena the Lizard Lady in the auditorium where she ‘aims to amaze’ attendees with her scaly friends including snakes, chameleons, and other reptiles. And the Racquette Valley Fish & Game Club, for the second year in a row, will hold Cardboard Sled Races and Sledding Party at its facility on Cold Brook Drive.
In addition to being a fun-filled weekend of activities the festival benefits the Neighborhood Center serving Colton, Pierrepont, and Parishville. The major fundraiser this year is a Silent Auction of Fine and Folk Art. Items donated by individuals and organizations include a Dick Bailey print, Judy Filarecki paintings, Steve Hewer fine pyrography, and a locally painted Harvest Star Barn Quilt. The items will be displayed and sealed bids taken in the Colton Town Hall during the week leading up to Winterfest and then at the Parish Center where barn quilts will be displayed and sold during the Quilt Show.
The complete schedule with details is on the town’s website (www.townofcolton.com) and hard copies can be picked up in the Colton Town Hall and Colton Hepburn Library on Main Street. The schedule includes the names and numbers of people organizing events with deadlines for events requiring pre-registration. Posters are displayed around the town and in nearby communities, providing a QR code to link directly to the schedule online. And updates are posted on the Town of Colton page on Facebook. Grace Hawley, 315-262-2439, chair of the planning committee, can be called for more information.